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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs Seahawks

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs Seahawks

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, 3:00, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Seahawks, 4 p.m., Fox

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 18
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 25

Key injury update
Out:
DE Ioannidis (hand) G Lauvao (stinger), TE Paul (concussion), TE Reed (hamstring), WR Crowder (hamstring)
Doubtful: T Williams (knee), T Nsekhe (core muscoe), C Long (knees)
Questionable: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin), Friday injury report here. The addition of DeAngelo Hall to the roster is good news for the O-line, here’s how.

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Seahawks

A tough test for the fill-ins: Assuming Trent Williams doesn’t play, the left side of the offensive line will be T.J. Clemmings at tackle and Tyler Catalina (or possibly Arie Kouandjio) at guard. They will match up against Frank Clark (4.5 sacks) and Sheldon Richardson, respectively. If they can hold up and keep Kirk Cousins upright, the Redskins might have a fighting chance. If not, it could be a long day.

Seahawks’ second-best player is out: Russell Wilson is the Seahawks’ MVP but safety Earl Thomas is the straw that stirs the drink on defense. The three-time All-Pro has two interceptions this year including a 78-yard pick six last week. He will be out with a hamstring injury, a tough loss for the Seattle defense. His absence could help Vernon Davis get some room over the middle. It would be a good situation for Jordan Reed to exploit but he also is out with a hamstring.

Better than the sum of its numbers: The Seahawks defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in many major statistical categories and outside the top ten in nearly all of them. But they are seventh in points allowed, indicating a bend-but-don’t-break unit that gets the job done. Here’s a statistical oddity for you. Seattle is third in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns from inside the 20 just 35 percent of the time. But when the opposition gets in goal to go situations, they are dead last, allowing touchdowns 100 percent of the time. The latter is a small sample size—opponents have had first and goal just four times against them—but the lesson is, don’t get tackled between the 10 and 20, get into that first and goal situation.

Wilson’s possible Achilles heel: Wilson has a way of frustrating opposing defenses. Every week defensive coordinators work late trying to figure out how to stop him and nearly every week they fail. But he does tend to put the ball on the ground; he has five fumbles so far this year. If the Redskins can turn one of those into a game-changing big play, they might have a chance to pull off the upset. Wilson also has thrown four interceptions in his last four games, so if they can get a pick or two, that obviously would help their cause as well.

Cousins’ comfort level: With Jordan Reed already declared out and Jamison Crowder getting downgraded to out on Saturday, two of Kirk Cousins’ favorite targets will be out of the game. Sure, he can go to Chris Thompson but it will be hard to move the ball without going to Terrelle Pryor and/or Josh Doctson on a regular basis.

Prediction: Go ahead and get your Captain Obvious comments ready. This is going to be a very difficult road for the Redskins. Just looking at the factors listed here, the Redskins will need at least two or more of the left side holding up against top-shelf linemen, being able to exploit a hole at safety without your best tight end, avoiding red zone woes, and getting Wilson to be a turnover machine will have to happen for the visitors to have a decent shot. That is drawing to the proverbial inside straight. I think the Redskins hang around for a while but Seattle will build and hold a working margin.

Seahawks 28, Redskins 24

Season predictions record: 3-4

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The first five off of the roster

Here are five players who are not on my projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) but who are one injury or a few strong preseason game performances away from making it. 

G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot. 

RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him. 

WR Cam Sims—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out. 

S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety. 

ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight. 

Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline 

Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72

The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days. 

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

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